Vans shoes, celebrated for their iconic style and robustness, are a preferred choice in casual footwear. We go over on how to clean vans shoes. Because keeping them clean is not just about aesthetics; it's about preserving their life and performance. This extended guide will walk you through the nuances of cleaning and maintaining Vans shoes made from different materials.

How To Clean Van Shoes | By MAVRICKS

Understanding Your Vans

Identify the material of your Vans—canvas, leather, or suede. Most can use the same method for cleaning, but each has a very distinct upkeep method to maintain its quality and appearance. Vans are a stable for a surf brand like MAVRICKS, and pairing them with your favorite surf graphic tee is crucial to being in style.

Overall cleaning Vans shoes is extremely easy. It can take less than 20 minutes to do depending how dirty they are. But this is a quick and easy process.

Preparing for Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning your Vans shoes, you really don't need a lot. You can easily just use a soft brush, detergent, water and a cloth. There are kids you can purchase online like the Pink Miracle Original Shoe Cleaner. While this isn't completely necessary to purchase, you can use a lot of items you already have at home.

Essential Materials:

  • Soft brush (toothbrush or shoe brush)
  • Mild detergent or specialized shoe cleaner
  • Warm water
  • Microfiber cloths or sponge
  • White vinegar or baking soda (for tough stains)
  • Leather conditioner (for leather Vans)
  • Suede brush and eraser (for suede Vans)

Initial Steps:

If you want to also clean your laces you can take them off and soak them in water and detergent. If the laces aren't that dirty you can leave them on if you want.

  • Remove laces and insoles for separate cleaning.
  • Brush off surface dirt or debris.

Cleaning Canvas Vans

Canvas is the most user-friendly material to clean. These are shoes like the Old Skool Vans that are most wildly known and bought by customers.

  1. Cleaning Solution: Mix mild detergent with warm water.
  2. Scrubbing: Use a brush or cloth to scrub the shoes gently.
  3. Rinse: Wipe with a damp cloth to remove soap.
  4. Drying: Let the shoes air dry away from direct heat or sunlight.

Tough Stains on Canvas

Apply a paste of baking soda and water or a mixture of white vinegar and water to stubborn stains, scrub gently, and rinse.

Depending on how you make your detergent, if you use soap and water, you may need to repeat cleaning tough stains a few times on your Vans Shoes.

Cleaning Leather Vans

Leather Vans need gentle care. Don't scrub too hard with the brush because you can ruin the material. When it comes to leather Vans just be extra careful with them.

  1. Cleaning Mix: Use leather cleaner or mild soap with water.
  2. Wiping: Gently apply the mix using a soft cloth.
  3. Drying: Quickly dry the shoes with another cloth.
  4. Conditioning: Apply leather conditioner after drying.

Cleaning Suede Vans

Suede demands careful attention. Again be careful when it comes to these types of shoes because the material is a little more fragile.

  1. Brushing: Use a suede brush for dirt removal.
  2. Spot Cleaning: Tackle stains with a suede eraser.
  3. Avoid Water: Water can damage suede.

Drying and Storage

When you dry your shoes, you can use a rag to wipe off excess detergent. After cleaning you just simply wipe off the soap and let your shoes air dry.

  • Avoid dryers or direct heat for drying.
  • Stuff shoes with paper towels to maintain shape.
  • Store in a cool, dry place.

Regular Maintenance

For regular maintenance on your Vans, you can simply grab a paper towel and wipe off excess dirt. Usually when you clean your shoes with soap and a brush is when you've left them too long without cleaning.

If you use a paper towel you can easily just wipe of dirt and stains. You could also use a protectant spray to help protect your shoes even more.

  • Brush off dirt after each use.
  • Use a protectant spray suitable for the shoe material.

Additional Cleaning and Care Tips

Here's a few additional tips you can use for your shoes. With these tips you can make your shoes last longer.

  • Use baking soda inside the shoes overnight to for odors.
  • Apply a waterproofing spray, particularly for canvas and suede shoes.
  • Rotate your Vans with other shoes to allow them time to air out.
  • Consider professional cleaning for heavily soiled or damaged shoes.

Deep Cleaning Techniques

Insole Care:

  • Wash insoles separately using a mild detergent.
  • Air dry completely before reinserting them into the shoes.

Lace Cleaning:

When it comes to laces this is completely optional. You can take them off and soak them in a soapy solution, or you can leave them on while you clean your shoes with the brush. This part is completely up to you.

  • Soak laces in a soapy solution, then rinse and dry.
  • Replace frayed or worn-out laces to refresh the look of your shoes.

Dealing with Scuffs:

Scuffs will always happen no matter what, and there's really nothing to prevent them. However once they happen there are a few things you can do to remove them or try to hide them. 

  • Use a magic eraser or a similar product on rubber parts to remove scuffs.
  • For leather, a small amount of leather cream can reduce the appearance of scuffs.

    Use Eco Friendly Products

    Try your best to use eco friendly products. There's a wide variety of cleaning products out there that use natural ingredients, and use brushes with natural bristles in them and not plastic. 

    • Use eco-friendly cleaning products to minimize environmental impact.
    • Regular maintenance reduces the need for harsh cleaning agents.

    Longevity Tips

    If you want your shoes to last a long time, you can easily do this by buying multiple pares, and reduce the amount of wear. Wipe any dirt off immediately with a paper towel, and if there are any damages be sure to repair them.

    • Avoid wearing the same pair daily to reduce wear and tear.
    • Repair minor damages promptly to extend the life of your shoes.


    The key to keeping your Vans shoes in top condition lies in regular, proper care tailored to their material. By following these cleaning and maintenance tips, you can enjoy your shoes for a long time, making them a sustainable and fashionable choice in your wardrobe. Vans are the ultimate shoe for surf clothing brands like MAVRICKS. These are some of our favorite shoes to wear around and love pairing them with our favorite surf graphic tees.

    December 06, 2023 — MAVRICKS
    Tags: How to